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Thursday, November 16, 2006
  not your typical swede: Kristoffer Ragnstam

there is a genre of independent music that i will predictably love. it's everything rolled up into a jangly rock-pop burrito: folk, alt-country, sunshine pop, a little piano here, a few strings there, a little electronic play, unusual vocalists (Isaac Brock, i love you. Colin Hay, we'll talk)... eggs? if i ate them, i'd have them scrambled, thank you.

but sometimes an artist comes catapulting through this predictable pattern, knocking everything all over the place and straightening up, settling down, only to make my jaw drop and say - hang on, kids, i like this album. the force can vary from a rubber chicken to a cannon-ball, but neverthless, lying snugly somewhere in this category comes Kristoffer Ragnstam.

Do You Want A Piece Of Me poses a question that can be answered only after a few listens. do we want a piece of him WELL yes we do - but it takes a minute. the EP comes in trailing influences too varied to mention all of them, but some of my favorite are older. on "Breakfast By The Mattress," deservedly the most popular track, they have an updated seventies disco flair, a little like Under The Influence of Giants - those giants being the bee-gees. more importantly, though, is the extremely successful range of songs produced on this simple 5-track. anything he tries, he gets right. 60's garage, delicate harmonies, piano, POP. the guy knows his pop.

speaking of the guy, the name is Swedish. he's got a great history, hailing from Sweden but veering off the Swede-pop bandwagon to do his own, slightly more involved (sometimes i think i could write a Swede-pop song, and yet i love it still) genre of rock and pop and disco and 60's dance and psychedelia and... i'm telling you, this cat does everything. he loves his craft, and he's honed it well - not to mention getting in the studio with producer Chris Brown (think: Radiohead, Beatles, and big Brit stars like Blur). it's all very impressive... and hopefully i can impress upon you to keep him in mind for his debut LP Sweet Bills, out in March sometime.

::::you'll need the whole EP, though:
Kristoffer Ragnstam - Breakfast By The Mattress
Bonus.... Kristoffer Ragnstam - Woke Up Left Handed
- also quite good. give it time.

you know the drill! i suggest his myspace, which apparently every music artist on the planet has, except Jay-Z of course.

allllllso, go for the hype machine to collect the tracks you may have missed here. he'll just get bigger and bigger until PF calls him a blogger artist and gives him a 3.6. sigh.
Yeah, the new album rocks. You can buy it on ITunes.
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